September 23, 1997
The Administration supports the purpose of S. 462, which would reform and
consolidate the Nation's public housing and Section 8 programs. The
Administration appreciates the Senate's effort to provide the Department of
Housing and Urban Development with the authority to implement needed management
reforms, as well as the ongoing efforts to improve the bill.
However, in its current form, the bill remains flawed. The Administration believes that S. 462 is fundamentally flawed because its income targeting requirements fail to ensure that Federal housing assistance will continue its historic mission of helping those with very substantial housing needs. This is particularly true for the tenant-based assistance program, where the income eligibility level is increased and substantial previous targeting protections are removed. These provisions could result, over time, in the loss of several hundred thousand apartments for families with extremely low incomes. The problem would be addressed only partially by the proposed Manager's amendment.
Therefore, in order to provide for satisfactory income targeting, S. 462 must be amended to:
In addition, the Administration will work with the Senate on other amendments to S. 462 that would make it more consistent with the Administration's public housing reform bill that was transmitted to Congress on April 18, 1997.
Pay-As-You-Go Scoring. S. 462 would affect direct spending; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. OMB's preliminary scoring estimate of this bill is under development. If S. 462 is enacted with direct spending increases in FY 1998 that are not offset during the remainder of this session of Congress, a pay-as-you-go sequester would be triggered at the end of the session.